My name is Desirée. Currently, I live in Ontario, Canada. I'm a Dougla from the Caribbean, although I didn't know about my Indian heritage until later on in life. My identity is a work in progress.
Although I grew up in a predominately Indian community, I didn't know this was my culture or my people. I didn't connect with my father until I was nine years old, so there's been a disconnect with the Indian side of the family. My Afro-Caribbean mother endured a lot of racism from my father's side of my family and sought to protect me.
I went to a predominately white school and didn't fit in any particular group. Even the African students didn't understand me or my culture. Around three years ago, I stumbled across the term "Dougla,” a term used to describe people mixed with African and Indian descent in the West Indies. At first, I thought the term was negative. But, as I started to learn more, I grew to appreciate who I was. Little did I know that there were thousands of people out there similar to myself.
In grade 11, I started to understand how I wanted to identify. I encountered a Caribbean community on Tik Tok that has been priceless in me learning about myself (thx @douglabwoy_ )They have taught me an invaluable amount of history about Indo Caribbean people and the culture. Today, I'm making sure that others don't tell me who I am and who I am not.
I am Afro-Caribbean.
I am Indo-Caribbean.
I am proud.